State of Missouri v. Michael Owsley

959 S.W.2d 789 (Mo.banc 1997)

Michael Owsley was executed at 12:07 a.m., February 6, 2002.

OwsleyM Case Facts: On April 18, 1993 Elvin Iverson drove from Kansas City, Missouri to Junction City, Kansas to sell drugs. Iverson was accompanied by Ellen Cole. When Iverson and Cole returned to Iverson’s residence in Kansas City they were confronted by Michael Owsley and another individual named Hamilton. Owsley and Hamilton ordered Iverson and Cole to lie on the floor. Hamilton had a semiautomatic weapon with a silencer and Owsley had a 12 gauge shotgun.

Hamilton demanded the money from the drug sale. Iverson told him that he gave the money to another individual that was with him in Junction City. Owsley then threatened Iverson and began punching, kicking and striking Iverson with the shotgun to persuade him to tell where the money was.

When Iverson continued to deny that he had the money, Owsley took a bag from Hamilton and put it on Iverson’s head and began to smother him. At that point Hamilton asked Cole about the money and she lied by offering to take them to a key. Hamilton then tied Cole and Iverson together by their feet with an electrical extension cord and the two where then covered with a blanket.

Owsley stood over them, hitting them with the barrel of the shotgun and said, “One of you will live: one of you will die.” He put the gun to Iverson’s head. Before he fired the weapon Hamilton told Owsley to put a pillow over Iverson’s head which Owsley did. He then fired the shotgun into Iverson’s head killing him instantly.

Hamilton untied Cole and took her to his car while Owsley followed in a second car. A short time later Cole managed to escape from Hamilton’s car and notify the police of the incident. Owsley was arrested on 4-19-93.

Legal Chronology:

04/18 – Michael Owsley and Marion Hamilton kill Elvin Iverson in Kansas City, Missouri.
04/30 – wsley is charged by indictment with first degree murder, first degree assault, kidnapping and three counts of armed criminal action.

10/18 – The trial begins in Jackson County Circuit Court.
10/26 – The jury finds Owsley guilty of murder first degree, kidnapping and two counts of armed criminal action.
10/28 -The jury recommended capital punishment as the sentence for murder first degree.

01/06 – Owsley is sentenced to death on the charge of murder first degree and Life for kidnapping and two terms of 15 years for the two counts of armed criminal action.
01/15 – Owsley files a notice of appeal.
07/09 – Owsley files a motion for post-conviction relief.

07/09 – The Circuit Court denies the motion for post-conviction relief.

12/23 – The Missouri State Supreme Court affirms Owsley’s conviction and sentence and the denial of post-conviction relief

10/05 – The U.S. Supreme Court denies certiorari review.
12/08 – Owsley files a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

05/06 – The U.S. District Court denies the petition for writ of habeas corpus.

12/11 – The U.S. Eighth Court of Appeals affirms the denial of relief.

10/01 – The U.S. Supreme Court declines discretionary review.
10/02 – The state requests the Missouri State Supreme Court to set an execution date.

07/07 – The Missouri State Supreme Court sets February 6, 2002 as Owsley’s execution date.